3D imaging methods are increasingly employed in cultural heritage research to analyse and document objects in museum collections. In this work, we provide an interactive visualisation plugin for the open-source software Blender, to combine and inspect two complementary 3D imaging modalities: CT images, which capture the interior; and surface scans, which capture the exterior. 3D CT scan data can be visualised, both as volumetric representation and as orthogonal slices, and a 3D surface scan can be registered onto the CT data. It allows users to simultaneously and interactively inspect these modalities and to virtually cut through an object. It also provides tools for generating output images and videos for research and public outreach purposes. The plugin workflow was applied to four case studies from the collections of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and the British Museum, London. The plugin is published open-source together with detailed guidelines and a practice dataset.

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Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage
CT for Art: from Images to Patterns , Real-Time 3D Tomography
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam (CWI), The Netherlands

Bossema, F., van Laar, P., Meechan, K., O'Flynn, D., Dyer, J., van Leeuwen, T., … Batenburg, J. (2023). Inside out: Fusing 3D imaging modalities for the internal and external investigation of multi-material museum objects. Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, 31, e00296: 1–e00296:11. doi:10.1016/j.daach.2023.e00296